Eat, Pray Laugh! Barry Humphries' Farewell Tour. Norwich Theatre Royal, February 2014.
A cold and damp February night was just the time to see this farewell tour event, although during the first half I wasn't entirely sure it was a huge mistake.
Before the interval we have an extended scene with Les Patterson, Cultural Attache, who is trying to reinvent himself as a celebrity chef and won't let a touch of Montezuma's Revenge stop him. This skit bordered on being just too gross for me and I was alarmed that some in the audience didn't see Les's pronouncements as satire. We then met Gerald the vicar with an ASBO and leg tag who has a penchant for young men. Lastly there was Sandy Stone a deceased elderly man looking back on the death of his daughter and the way his widow had been conned by a relative and placed in a home not suitable for looking after her. Can you tell from my tone I didn't find this funny?
However after the interval it all changed - we started with a film expose of Dame Edna's life and then the lady herself appeared on an elephant.
Comedy that relies on picking on the audience shouldn't be funny but this was, and I was very glad to be sitting high up at the back even if that did draw some ribbing from the Dame herself. The jokes were very place and time specific but I ended up with a stitch long before the end.
As a nice touch at the very end Barry Humphries appeared as himself and gave a little speech - and despite my misgivings from the first hour by the end I was on my feet waving a metaphorical gladdie with the rest of the audience!